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Everyone knows that the best way to do something right is to go straight to the source. It turns out that's exactly what the developers of Planet Coaster did in order to get the perfect soundscapes for their latest game, with sound designer Watson Wu setting up a theme park visit that would make South Park's Eric Cartman jealous.
In the above video, Planet Coaster's sound designer Watson Wu gives us a behind the scenes look at what it was like recording audio for the game. Rather than try and recreate sounds in a studio or record sounds at a bustling park, Wu decided to go one step further, reserving an entire theme park for himself. There's an entire episode of South Park wherein Cartman buys his own theme park in order to go on all of the rides without having to wait in line. Turns out he probably could have saved a few bucks just by renting the thing during the off season.
The video is apparently only the first in a two-part series from Wu wherein he discusses the process of recording sounds for Planet Coaster. In case you're unfamiliar with the series, it's a new simulation game similar to titles like Roller Coaster Tycoon. The player gets to build the theme park of their dreams, using either a fantasy, pirate or sci-fi theme. You can control pretty much every aspect of park design, from the rides and booths to the landscape surrounding the park and more. It's available now on Steam for 45 bucks and, according to the reviews, it's pretty fantastic.
In order to get authentic sounds for Planet Coaster, Wu rented a theme park, hopped on the rides with his recording equipment and got to work. This method is important because it allowed him to record the sounds without having the sound of park-goers in the background.
Wu explained that, living in Florida, one of the main complications was the fact that theme parks are open pretty much year-round. Eventually, he located a park in Indiana that would let him do his job without a bunch of other folks running around, resulting in clean, authentic sounds. The video ends with a look at one of the rides as Wu records it. There're all kinds of subtle sounds here that would normally go unnoticed, so it's kind of cool to see this much effort go into just a single portion of the game.
As for how it turned out, you can hear some of Wu's work in action below in the Planet Coaster trailer.
Planet Coaster is available now.